Cadets Experience Religions

Last week, a few West Point cadets got a break from the daily grind and took a drive to Jersey City, where they visited a variety of religious organizations.   According to several news reports, the sights included Christian, Coptic, Hindu and Islamic religious facilities.  The cadets slept on the floor of the mosque in sleeping bags for two nights.

The trip was part of a “Winning the Peace” class, whose objective is to help the cadets understand that decisive armed combat is not necessarily solely responsible for “victory.”

The US Military Academy should be lauded for exposing young officers-to-be to the cultural elements (including religion) they will experience once commissioned.  The USMA cadets demonstrated mature, independent and critical thought, even when at least one of their speakers Read more

Book Review: Every Man’s Battle

Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker
Waterbrook Press, Colorado Springs, 2000.
Topic: Sexual purity

The Battle series is immensely popular right now. While it’s not perfect and there are issues with some things they say, it is a good book with plenty of advice for dealing with sexual temptation.

Notably, it was surprising to see them mention the evil of the double entendre, something that had heretofore not been addressed outside of the pilot community (p13). On a less positive note, the authors set out to “bust the myth” that men can’t control themselves, though in at least one instance they qualify masculine traits by saying “How could he help it?” (p184).

Recommended for those who may struggle in the sexual arena, and as a means of preparation for those entering the sexually laced fighter pilot community.

This book is available from Christian Book Distributors and Amazon.

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Weinstein Speaks, Cadets Listen…Impatiently

If ever Michael Weinstein needed proof that cadets could not be brainwashed by religious propaganda, it was his own presence at the Air Force Academy Wednesday afternoon that provided it.

Weinstein was invited to speak at the Academy after he complained about the speakers at February’s Academy Assembly, the topic of which was “Dismantling Terrorism.”

Unlike any of the previous speakers, however, Weinstein made no claim to have any authority on the ongoing war on terrorism.  Instead, Weinstein has made a name for himself, and the “foundation” he created, by repeatedly suing the US military for its alleged support of Christianity.  Weinstein’s Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF), formed just a few years ago, has sued the Air Force Academy for Christian favoritism (the suit was dismissed), more recently sued the Secretary of Defense on behalf of a Kansas soldier (notably, after running ads seeking plaintiffs), and even threatened to add the Academy Assembly incident to his current lawsuit.

Weinstein did not even suggest he would offer a “balancing” perspective on Islam or global terrorism, which is what other advocacy groups had called for.  Instead, he said he wanted to “deprogram” the cadets from the content they heard in February.  While the point of the Academy Assembly was terrorism, Weinstein very evidently made Christianity the topic of his MRFF symposium. Read more

T-37s Retired… Sort of.

As announced on AF.mil, Columbus AFB formally retired the final T-37 Tweet that was still supporting Specialized Undergraduate Pilot Training (SUPT).  Still, the Tweet will continue to fly at Sheppard AFB in support of Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training (ENJJPT), primarily because the foreign pilots there have not received support from their home countries to transition to the T-6.

A list and short description of aircraft flown during a pilot’s career can be seen here.

Chad Hennings Addresses Pentagon Airmen

According to AF.mil, Chad Hennings–an Air Force Academy graduate, former A-10 pilot, and former defensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys–recently spoke to airmen at the Pentagon on the Air Force’s “Wingman Day.”

Hennings, now retired, has his own website and motivational speaking career.  While his faith doesn’t come across as a pivotal factor on his website, he is fairly well known for his Christianity.  He also founded Wingmen Ministries.

Weinstein to Speak at Academy

As previously noted, the Colorado Springs Gazette has reported that the Military Religious Freedom Foundation will present an “alternative view” on Islam and the War on Terror at the Air Force Academy on April 9th.

As one of the speakers, Weinstein has maintained that the military is overrun with fundamentalist Christians, who he recently referred to as

homophobic, misogenistic (sic), anti-Semitic and Islamophobic [with] a virulent desire to subordinate the Constitution … to…the weaponized gospel of Jesus Christ. (the Aspen Times).

To counter this, he plans to show portions of a soon-to-be-released documentary (in which he and his family play a role), which focuses on

Christian anti-Semitism as the model for all religious hatred, exposing the cross as a symbol of a long history of violence against Jews and Moslems.

Reza Aslan, another invitee, is also on the record sharing Weinstein’s beliefs.

The Academy forum is being held under the auspices of academic freedom.

Remember our Military this Easter

Easter commemorates our Savior’s triumph over sin, and we take joy in spending this special time with family and friends and reflecting on the many blessings that fill our lives…On this glorious day, we remember our brave men and women in uniform who are separated from their families by great distances. We pray for their safety and strength, and we honor those who gave their lives to advance peace and secure liberty across the globe.
                          – President Bush’s Easter Message, March 2008

 

As reported at ChristianPost, U.S. soldiers pray as they celebrate Easter with a sunrise service at Camp Victory, in Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, March 23, 2008. (Photo: AP Images/Dusan Vranic)

Keep us safe…
As reported at AF.mil, “Airmen…at an Army camp in Southwest Asia bow their heads March 2 during a prayer before heading off on a convoy.” (USAF Photo/SSgt Patrick Dixon)

Though critics of religion in the military continue to oppose it, public prayer–in uniform, on duty, with Chaplains, civilians, and within mixed ranks of officers, enlisted, superiors and subordinates–remains an acceptable and protected form of religious practice, even in the US military.

Doolittle Raider, Christian Missionary Dies

According to an AF.mil article, Staff Sgt. Jacob DeShazer (the bombardier on the last B-25 in the Doolittle Raid) has died. DeShazer was famous not only for his role in the raid, but also for his post-war activities.  The man who once hated his Japanese enemies with a vitriolic passion would become a Christian in their prison and return to evangelize them.  His story led to the conversion of Captain Mitsuo Fuchida, said to be the flight leader of the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Fuchida himself became a missionary in Asia and the United States.

The text of a pamphlet DeShazer wrote, which was widely distributed in Japan after the war, can be seen at the bottom of this website.  His story was also made into a documentary called From Vengeance to Forgiveness.  His story was also chronicled several years ago here.

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